Last month one of our morning workouts turned into a math lesson and it made me realize how today’s parents are struggling with teaching lessons made for teachers, when real life math is all around us. My son began picking up one of each color, holding them all in his arms, and said “Look mommy this is 18”. Then he laid them on the ground and we started to make two piles and created addition stories. I reinforced vocabulary words “addition”, “plus”, “equals”, “total”, and “sum”.
Then we started to talk about what the 18 meant. Knowing his humor and basic understanding of math units I jokingly said “Oh that’s 18 cents right?” and he laughed and said no. Then I jumped in and said “Oh, that’s 18 dollars!.” And he laughed again and said “No Mommy, it’s 18 pounds.”
When I asked how he knew he did exactly what is expected for some of those Math assessments in school. He said “I know because when I lift this one, it’s 3 pounds, plus this one is 5 and the one you use is 10. That’s 18 pounds!”
This fun integration of math into our work out made me feel less worried about whether I was doing all those teacher lesson plans. Afterall, this is authentic learning. When kids are curious and learn through their environment, an adult can easily embed some learning objectives through simple conversations. It made me think that if we focus more on enjoying the time with kids and look for learning opportunities it’ll have more impact than forcing them to sit down and learn.